Demolition of Ollerton Colliery headstocks, 20 December 1994. Source: Mansfield Chad


Years of decline and colliery closures lead to more union meetings and protests. Attempts to reverse the fortunes of the coal industry proved unsuccessful and many miners faced redundancy and unemployment, as the visible traces of their workplace were slowly erased from the landscape. Headstocks were toppled and former colliery sites became derelict, culminating in 2015 with the closure of the East Midlands last remaining colliery.

The closure of Thoresby colliery in north Nottinghamshire was swiftly followed by Kellingley in Yorkshire, the UK’s last deep coal mine.  Researchers, archivists and community group have since been engaged in a race to preserve the artefacts and living memory related to a once powerful industry.


Scottish NUM members passing Annesley Colliery on a march from Scotland to the Houses of Parliament, 6 December 1992. Source: Mansfield Chad

Kirkby NUM members protest at the closure of their pit with a mock coffin at the Nottinghamshire miners’ march and gala in Mansfield in 1968. Source: Kirkby-in-Ashfield Heritage Centre

Special meeting to discuss pit closures at Rufford Colliery during the Coal Crisis in1993. Source: Mansfield Chad

Union of Democratic Mineworkers (UDM) rally against pit closures, November 1992. Source: Mansfield Chad

Last day of production at Sutton Colliery in August 1989. Source: The late Tony Whelan Collection